Aquatraz has delivered its first harvest

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The semi-closed cage built for Norwegian salmon farmer, Midt-Norsk Havbruk, has delivered 181 tonnes of salmon.

In October last year, Aquatraz salmon farm was filled with around 190,000 fish. After just over seven months of operation, last week it was ready for history’s first delivery of harvesting fish from the semi-closed cage.

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Video: Midt-Norsk Havbruk

Good for fish and people
During the operation, the cage was raised about nine meters. Then, the fish was pumped directly into the well-boat “Namsos” via the fixed outlet at the bottom of the cage.

“By taking out the fish from the bottom of the cage, there is no need for as much urgency and pressure on the fish. The salmon remained calm during the entire loading, so this project is good for fish welfare,” said Roger Eiternes, production manager in Midt-Norsk Havbruk.

The Aquatraz cage measures 160 meters in circumference. The cage is close to the top eight meters, with ventilated sides in the deeper water layers. Hydraulics make sure the cage is raised when loading fish.

“This is a dream for EHS (environment, health, and safety). Today we have not used a muscle to raise the cage. All in all, this is an important milestone in technology development, both for Midt-Norsk Havbruk, Norsk Fisketransport (the well-boat company) and other players in the development project,” said Eiternes.

A total of 181 tonnes of salmon were loaded for slaughter during the pilot operation last week. The remaining biomass will now grow further until scheduled delivery in July.

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Video: Midt-Norsk Havbruk

Next generation is on its way
Midt-Norsk Havbruk has a total of four development licenses. Aquatraz 2 is already in operation in the Eiterfjord in Trondelag, county in the central part of Norway, while cage number three and four are completed by Fosen Yards.

“So far, the experiences are good, both in terms of technology and biology. The project has given us a lot of knowledge that we bring with us in the further development of Aquatraz,” said Steingrim Holm, project manager for the Aquatraz project.

The latest generation of the Aquatraz concept is scheduled to be delivered in September and December, respectively.